Career Connections


Grace Mandich

Major: Kinesiology and Health


Minor/option/emphasis: Community and Public Health

Company/Organization: YMCA
Company/Organization website: https://www.ymcamn.org/locations/southdale_ymca
Title: Group Exercise Program Director Intern
Destination: Edina, MN
Timeframe: Fall 2016

Advisor/Coordinator Email: dpower@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
My supervisors position was under the direction of the Wellness Director and is responsible for hiring, scheduling, training, supervising, and evaluating all employee and volunteer group exercise instructors and contracted specialty instructors for the Wellness Department. I was able to actively assist and give input with all of these responsibilities. I especially enjoyed the responsibilities relating to hiring new instructors and scheduling classes. I helped evaluate the quality of the Group Exercise Department, members’ needs, and make suggestions for program enhancement. I sat in on staff meetings and meetings for creating and monitoring the annual budget and expenses, including payroll every Monday morning and leadership meetings every Tuesday morning. I helped coordinate and participated in monthly wellness challenges and increased my knowledge of exercise programs and trends considerably. I aided in overseeing the maintenance of fitness equipment and inventory control of program supplies. I was also able to assist the Wellness Director with additional duties such as hosting instructor trainings, multiple large events such as the Gathering (over 900 active elderly adults gathered at the Minneapolis convention center for seminars, lunch and a talent show), etc. I became a certified group exercise instructor during my internship and will continue to teach their early morning water aerobics classes.

I accomplished...
The greatest and most lasting accomplishment for me was becoming a certified group exercise instructor because, depending on where life takes me, I will be able to teach exercise classes wherever I go. A second takeaway would be all the many friends I made. I truly enjoyed the people I was able to work with, not only were they extremely welcoming and kind, but they were exceptional at their jobs as well. I feel so fortunate to learned so much from them.

I learned...
The greatest lesson I learned from my internship was that it isn't what happens to you, it's how you react to it. Whether it's a disgruntled member, another employee who inhibits your ability to do your job because they haven't done theirs correctly, etc., you can't control what happens to you but you can set the tone by your response and how you deal with adversity.

Advice for others...
When I was looking for an internship, I found it most helpful to ask your friends if they know anyone already working in that field or at a facility that offers services like the one you're interested in. A hand delivered or personally emailed resume- whether from you or your contact within the organization or agency- always stands out.

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